It doesn’t get more basic or more delectable than a perfectly roasted chicken. Consider making two; the leftovers are fantastic.
1 whole roaster chicken, about 5 pounds, brined and dried
2 teaspoons olive oil
1½ teaspoons kosher salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 lemon, halved
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
2. Rub the chicken skin and flesh with the olive oil; then sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Squeeze the lemon juice over the chicken and place the halves in the cavity.
3. Place the chicken on a rack in a roasting pan. Cook until the juices run clear from the breast and the leg moves easily, approximately 1¼ hours. Do not baste.
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary or 2 teaspoons dried rosemary
1. Gently lift the skin and place the garlic slices and rosemary under it. Then rub the chicken with the olive oil and proceed as described.
Add a generous sprinkling of paprika to the salt and pepper.
2 ripe pears (any kind will do), peeled and diced
1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
½ cup water or chicken broth
½ to 1 cup dry vermouth or dry white wine
1. After placing the chicken on the rack, surround it with the pears and squash. Pour the water and vermouth into the roasting pan.
12 to 16 small new potatoes, halved or quartered
2 red onions, peeled keeping root intact, cut into 8 wedges
½ cup dry white vermouth or dry white wine
1. After placing the chicken on the rack, surround it with the potatoes and onions. Pour the vermouth into the roasting pan.
From Warehouse to Your House: More than 250 Simple, Spectacular Recipes to Cook, Store, and Share When You Buy in Quantity (Simon & Schuster, 2006)